How Language Barriers Affect Your Business & How You Can Overcome Them

A language is a powerful tool that can help you enter new markets in a worldwide business environment, and being able to speak more than one language is a valuable skill.

In the global era, companies need to be aware of the impact of language on their business because it's good for businesses to have knowledge of several languages. 

The language barrier is a major obstacle for many companies trying to do business internationally. Most companies are doing business internationally nowadays. It's not because their products are better or cheaper, but because the global market is huge. 

Either way, it's not easy to sell your products in other countries if you don't speak the language.

However, there are many ways to overcome these cultural differences. One of them is working with an international translation/interpretation service that specializes in translating texts from one language into another or more languages simultaneously.

Here are three ways in which language barriers can affect your company:

  1. Language barriers hinder international trade
  2. Language barriers create different perceptions of quality across cultures
  3. Language barriers slow down decision-making processes

In the business world, the ability to communicate effectively across cultures can be crucial. 

This blog post will go over some specific instances where language barriers can affect your business and how you can overcome them.

What are the main problems when it comes to language barriers in international business?

Cultural differences

Businesses often find that their employees and customers come from different cultural backgrounds. This often becomes a problem when the employees and customers are of different nationalities and speak different languages. The difference in culture and language can lead to misunderstandings, which may cause financial losses for the business.

To effectively solve these problems, three main aspects need to be taken into consideration: the cultural context, cultural differences and Outsourcing projects overseas. 

  • The cultural context 

If you're a business owner in a specific market and want to expand your market to a new culture, you need to know a few things about the potential customer before you can make a good marketing plan to reach them. First, you need to know how the culture that will be receiving your marketing materials feels about your product or service.

Depending on that, you may need to adjust your marketing materials to fit the culture. For example, if you're marketing a product that may be seen as "Western" in the United States, you may want to consider changing how it's portrayed in your marketing materials in a country where it may be seen in a negative light.

Who are your customers in a different culture? What is your customer culture in relation to yours?

  • The cultural differences

Sometimes your target market is not in the same country as you are, or even the same continent. This creates a cultural difference that can make or break your business. It can create many unnecessary problems, which you'd be wise to avoid. For example, if you are selling artwork to customers in China, there are some words you simply cannot use.

While this may seem obvious, it is a mistake that companies continue to make even today. 

If you plan on expanding your business across multiple countries and different cultures, it is important to understand cross-cultural communication and adapt to each specific situation with an open mind. While a common language is a great place to start, be sure to consider what all cultures think, how they react to certain situations, and how they will propagate information. 

  • Outsourcing projects overseas

Outsourcing projects

Language barriers can be a serious issue when outsourcing projects. Miscommunication, misinterpretation, and loss in the translation are all consequences of language barriers but are not limited to these consequences. 

Language barriers can result in delays in communication, loss of time, and incorrect data resulting in poor project outcomes. In reality, some messages cannot be translated and delayed communication is often the case when working with resources remotely, specifically in Eastern Europe or Asia. 

Working across time zones can result in days of back-and-forth before clear communication is achieved. The management must be patient and understand that due to delayed communication it may take engineers more than one try to come out with an efficient solution for your problems.

What are the main steps to overcome language barriers?

Business Communication

Language barriers in business are common. On one hand, many companies rely on English as their primary means of communication for marketing purposes. When doing business across many cultural and language barriers, there's a strong chance your messages will be misinterpreted. 

So, a smart idea is to use a form of communication that is both easy to understand and quick to respond to. In this scenario, email is a definite plus, while chat or video calls could have a few pit-falls. In the long run, your messages will get across faster.

On the other hand, some markets are not well-served by English-speaking people with skills in that area. Companies have been able to operate successfully in global markets by hiring individuals from different cultures and countries. To have smooth communication with overseas partners. This is where professional interpretation or translation services come in handy for overcoming these difficulties when doing international trade or conducting business with foreign partners overseas.


Language barriers are significant issues that cause many problems for organizations that seek to expand into foreign markets.

Multilingual communication is crucial for businesses that have a global presence. By being aware of language and communication, you can reduce or eliminate many issues in communication. This is especially true when language becomes an issue in the workplace. Regardless of the language in which you communicate, you're missing out on an opportunity to grow your business if your employees aren't aware of the effect language can have on how you work together. 

In many cases, a misunderstanding can be easily fixed with a simple clarification. In others, the issue may be more complicated. In either case, avoiding confusion is key to building a positive business relationship. To learn more about how language and communication affect business, read the following article.

At OUispeak, we know that language is a barrier that can be overcome. With our platform, you can connect with people from all over the world, no matter where they are located. We hope this blog post has helped you understand the importance of overcoming language barriers in your business. If you have any other questions or concerns about overcoming language barriers, please contact us anytime. 

Thank you for reading, we are always excited when one of our posts can provide useful information on a topic like this!